Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach

General Scheme of the Central Bank (Individual Accountability Framework) Bill 2021: Central Bank

Mr. Gerry Cross:

I'll take the first question and Ms Cunningham will take the second. The scheme is designed to be both clear and demanding, but also flexible. The issue the Deputy identified on the reasonable steps is very important. Of course, I know the banks and others would like us to be very clear about what reasonable steps are. It is important we provide guidance and clarity and we will do that in our consultation, but it is also important for the banks, insurers and those caught by this regime to think about and put in place the appropriate steps without us leading them by the hand.

In the example the Deputy provides, it can be the case if a more junior member of staff with responsibilities does everything he or she reasonably should to address and bring an end to the issue, which includes taking it up the line. Then the view is that there was not much more he or she could reasonably do, he or she can have discharge of duty. It may be that is not case. It may be, given the circumstances, that something else could have reasonably been done. That would be a different story. If the view of the steps taken is that all reasonable measures have been taken by that employee and he or she has really tried to get that job done in the firm, the employee could have discharged his or her duty. It depends on the circumstances, but the scheme is designed to be flexible and allow people to discharge.